Disclaimer: This topic is an edited repost I wrote on BZP. I really liked this piece and I'm posting it here to see if it could get more discussion and maybe even attention from the podcast members. It's a long post but it's elaborate and I think really relevant to a long-standing discussion in Bionicle that more people should read
So, I was thinking, which as you all know is already a bad sign.
Let's talk about love!
Love in Bionicle G1 isn't canon, and it's been specifically stated as so by the mighty Greg Farsthey, his great power moving mountains and bringing back thousands characters from the dead in a single motion. And for many this has been a point of contention with the Greg-Nui, for to many it makes no sense why this would be the case. Is love not unity? Is love not allowed because they're part robots? I mean seriously, love doesn't have to be sexual, and Hewkii x Macku is the cutest thing ever!
Well gather round my young matoran and look into the fire, for there are secrets to be revealed: Love not being canon is deliberate, important, and one the smartest, most interesting and powerful themes in Bionicle G1. Yep, that's right. This is coming from the fool that's made posts about the unfortunate and cruel senselessness of the de-canonization of love (on BZP that is).
So why? Why isn't Greg-Nui feeling the love? And far less importantly, why aren't I? There's a chance it has something to do with me being a simple nut job but there's more to it than that.
Let's take a look at the history of the matoran. The matoran were designed by the Great Beings to keep the Mata-Nui robot functioning, like cells. In working, doing tasks, etc. they were keeping the Mata-Nui robot functional. Without their work, Mata-Nui would get sick and die.
They initially were simply unfeeling bio-mechanical workers designed solely to operate the robot. After all, them having relationships might intervene with their work. Some matoran might decide to go off and play kolhii instead or throw rocks at Ahkmou; it's just plain inefficient. The last thing I want is for some cell in my body to get lazy and decide it doesn't feel like keeping me alive, it can be a bad influence on the others.
But as Angonce (I believe) remarked, the matoran didn't stay that way. They began to wage wars for their freedom, fight for each other and their deity. They believed, learned, grew, and became more than the micro-workers were ever meant to be: truly alive. This was an evolution, and with this evolution they became alive in the mind. They were arguably the Great Beings' greatest creation, for it's the first thing they created that could fight for and shape its own destiny.
But if they can feel now, if they've evolved, why can't they love? It's senseless, ridiculous! Love is such a huge part of the mind, and it makes no sense for them to not have it... except that it does, for now.
Evolution is typically a slow sucker, never really in a hurry to be useful. But it never really stops happening. Even you, are evolving right now into the next stage in humanity. Why should it be the same for the matoran? Why would they just stop? They've established themselves as a growing and changing species, so picking a comfy spot to chill in for the rest of their existence hardly makes any sense.
So the answer is that they're not done evolving, and that love is something they're still developing. That's the ultimate difference between them and the agori: the agori are far more advanced them them biologically and more evolved. They've been in existence for far longer than the matoran, and in the story serve as a physical vision of what the matoran could become, as well as what they should not be (considering all the fun war and splitting your own planet into three pieces sort of thing).
The agori can love because they're more advanced than the matoran, and the matoran can't love because they haven't reached that stage yet in their growth in their history.
And what about Hewkii and Macku? Well they actually make sense here. They are shown being "very affectionate" of each other in the MNOG animations, and that's not untrue. They may love each other, but not really know what it means considering it's nothing the rest of the matoran have ever likely felt before. They are the anomalies, and it's always the anomalies that change the world. They're the pin that fate balances on, and when they take that step forward and recognize their feelings (likely to be sparked by meeting the agori and learning from their example), the rest of the matoran race will follow and evolve to learn that feeling too.
Think of the X-Men! The X-Men stories show an evolution of the human race, with small amounts of people gaining super-human/advanced abilities. More and more people gain that ability as they evolve as they become a part of it, except in Bionicle's case, the ultimate power is the power of LOVE! (Side theory: Mask of Ultimate Power actually the Mask of Love?)
Love not being canon doesn't mean it doesn't have the potential to exist for the matoran, and the evolution of the matoran is one of the smartest and most meaningful themes to come out because of this.
The evolution of the matoran is a reflection of the human race, and it demonstrates a people learning to grow and fight to become something, growing beyond the menial tasks they were build for and becoming so much more, even escaping and growing above the need for their deity and shell of a universe.
The migration of the matoran out of the robot is a metaphor for them literally seeing the light. Mata-Nui himself explains how the matoran don't need him anymore and how he would just be a shadow standing over them, limiting their potential for what they could become.
Evolution stands for so much in humanity. It stands for the breaking of the shackles that bind us and hold us down to the slavery of mortality, and climbing the ladder to become more than submissive and worshiping, but becoming productive to ourselves and each other. And while the agori nearly destroyed themselves, it is out of them that the matoran were shaped, except directly changed to have Unity, Duty, and Destiny, so they would not make that mistake. In being given this, they were by design destined and shaped to become more; to work on themselves, on each other, and the future they would all occupy as one. They show that their destiny IS their evolution, and vice versa.
So rather than cursing the great Greg-Nui for de-canonizing love, we ought to be thanking him, for after thinking about it the design of it makes so much more sense this way and makes for a far more meaningful and powerful story. It's beautiful, like poetry, and is just one more reason to love the Bionicle.